I live in a part of California where black mulberries grow well. I’m planning to purchase one to plant this winter. I’m trying to decide between Black Beauty, Persian, and Noir de Spain. My number one concern is getting the one with the best taste. (Although I’d be happy to have one that is (semi-)dwarf, I’m only mildly concerned about size, since I plan to use backyard orchard culture techniques maintain it below 8 feet regardless of its growth potential.)
I tried wading through the lengthy mulberry discussions on here in an attempt to get opinions comparing the flavor of these three, but the discussions wander off in many different directions, so I’ve been unable to find what I’m looking for.
Does anyone have experience tasting at least two of these three, and have an opinion about their relative tastiness?
it does get lengthy, and am one of the guilty members who made it so…
so as a brief answer to your query: black beauty, persian, and noir de spain all taste the same to me(all excellent that is). Growth habit/vigor seem to be the same(slow-growing compared to common mulbs). Noir de spain sometimes bears lobed foliage which haven’t noticed with other nigra’s, which is nothing more than cosmetic difference.
no techniques needed if you obtain one that is grafted low(that is if you grow it under full-california sun). A bit of water deprivation shortens the internodes and helps season the stems, which then fattens the buds. The fatter the buds by autumn, the more prime the berries next spring. Here in vegas, our low-grafted nigra mulbs haven’t reached 5 ft tall after ~ 8 years, so that should give you fair idea as to when you might start ‘worrrying’ about yours getting bigger than 8 feet. Quite possible black mulbs grow a bit faster in california than here. I wish ours would reach 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide sooner rather than later.
No difference in taste. Quite probably, all of these are the same thing under different names.
i agree. While true nigra’s can be grown from seed, the provenance of cultivars from various nurseries is a bit murky
Is the pakistan (long fruit) variety worth growing if I already have a dwarf black?
Pakistan is very sweet with no tartness to it. It is very good, but does not compare with Morus nigra. M. nigra is an explosion of complex sweet tart deliciousness.
@chriso thanks. I just picked up the thai dwarf mulberry so we will see how that does. I wanna pick up a black beauty but I have heard most nigra’s taste the same. Do you think so?
I have to admit that the only M. nigra I’ve ever tasted is in Lebanon. I have 4 Persians in the ground but they have not fruited yet. I echo @jujubemulberry in surmising that BB, Persian and N de S are different denominations of the same plant.
As a side note, in Lebanon and Syria, M. nigra is called “Damascus mulberry”. So there’s a fourth name for you to process…
And in Iran/Persia, it is “Shahtoot”, or the mulberry of the Shah (Persian monarch)…
So if these three are really the same, how is it that a nursery as seemingly knowledgeable as DaveWilson.com, sells both Black Beauty and Persian? And their descriptions of the two vary in specific ways:
* Black Beauty Mulberry (Morus nigra sp.) Large, shiny fruit similar to Persian, known for its flavor. Can be grown as a tree or large shrub. Ripens early summer. Attractive to birds. Self-fruitful. 200 hours or less. USDA Zones 7-10.
* Persian Fruiting Mulberry (Morus nigra ‘Persian’) Densely foliated tree to 25-30 ft. Large heart-shaped leaves. Large fruit is juicy, dark red to black and good for jam. USDA Zones 7-9.
The description of the Persian certainly doesn’t sound like a plant that is going to struggle to get taller than 8 feet.
Finally, are all mulberries grafted? And if so, why is that? Is there a disease issue being addressed?
All black mulberries M. nigra are grafted. It seems they are good at producing fruit but not good at producing roots. They are usually frafted on M. alba.
As far as D. Wilson, it could be marketing. You bigger problem are all the impostor mulberries being sold as M. nigra. Make sure you learn to recognize the bud, growth habit and leaf characteristics of M. nigra before you make a purchase.
Any idea where might I find that information to use as a reference?
Since I’ll be purchasing bare root, I imagine I won’t be able to make such an assessment until after the tree has leafed out, right? Assuming that’s the case, I don’t seem to have any choice but to take my chances, and then, come spring, if characteristics don’t look good, remove the tree and try another one next year.
Best to buy from a reputable source such as https://www.whitmanfarms.com/
Otherwise you may be wasting money and more importantly time. There other nurseries that are also reputable.
`black beauty and persian is the exact same. i have them both dwarf (bush shape). i got them both to test to see if they were same or not. if you get one, you dont need to get the others including noir de spain should be the same even when advertised better. here is one of my review i have them growing side by side in large pots.
Where did you purchase those, please?
it was sold from local nursery i believe they were both from dave wilson. DW should have just sold under one name to avoid the confusion.
I grafted two different moris nigra scions from Fruitwood onto volunteer rubra seedlings this spring. Each scion grew over six feet long this summer. Is this possible for true nigra? I have one Spanish Nigra that is four years old and only a five foot bush. a small bush.